Traveling can be a serious problem when you have a cat. Most cats don’t like to travel in the car, and they also don’t like when you leave them alone too often. To take the cat with you, you will need to have a durable and comfortable carrier to keep your cat safe. If you need to find the perfect carrier for your cat but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading while we look at several brands to see the differences between them, we’ll tell you the pros and cons of each that we experienced while using them and we’ve even included short buyers guide to help you know what to look for as you shop. To help you make an informed purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|other||PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier||
|Best Value||Pet Magasin Collapsible Dog & Cat Carrier Bag||
|Premium Choice||PawHut 39” Soft-Sided Portable Dual Compartment Pet Carrier||
|Best for Kittens||Pawfect Pets Premium Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag||
|Pet Fit For Life Collapsible/Portable Cat Cage/Condo||
Best Cat Carrier for Car Travel – Reviews & Top Picks 2023
1. PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier – Best Overall
|Product Dimensions:||23.62 x 15.98 x 15.98 inches|
The PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier is our pick as the best overall cat carrier for car travel. It’s a larger-sized cat carrier that is perfect for long trips. It provides your cat with the security it needs, along with plenty of ventilation. The mesh sides also allow the cat to see what’s going on around it, which can help some cats feel more comfortable. Adjustable seatbelt loops ensure the carrier can fit in more vehicles, and four access panels, including a top panel, make it easy to get your cat in and out of it when you need to.
The only downside we experienced while using the PetLuv was that it might be a little too large for some people and their vehicles.
2. Pet Magasin Collapsible Dog & Cat Carrier Bag – Best Value
|Product Dimensions:||17 x 14 x 13 inches|
The Pet Magasin Collapsible Dog & Cat Carrier Bag is our pick as the best cat carrier for car travel for the money. It has a hard top and sides to help protect the cat even during stop-and-go traffic. It includes a padded mat that you can remove for easy cleaning, and there are plenty of ventilation holes to provide your pet with plenty of air. It also folds up nicely for easy storage when you don’t need it and it’s not too heavy to lug around.
The only downside we experienced while using the Pet Magasin is that you need to assemble it, which can be an unpleasant task.
3. PawHut 39” Soft-Sided Portable Dual Compartment Pet Carrier – Premium Choice
|Product Dimensions:||39 x 20 x 20 inches|
The PawHut 39” Soft-Sided Portable Dual Compartment Pet Carrier is our premium choice cat carrier for car travel. It provides your cat with plenty of room to move around ad large mesh windows provide ventilation and a clear view of the surroundings. It has soft sides, but a steel frame ensures its durability while traveling. One of the most interesting things about this model is that it has a zipper in the center that allows you to split the carrier into two carriers which can be extremely handy if you have more than one pet.
While we loved using the PawHut carrier, it’s quite heavy at about ten pounds, and at more than 3 feet long, it can be cumbersome to carry, especially for a smaller person.
4. Pawfect Pets Premium Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag – Best for Kittens
|Product Dimensions:||17.5 x 10 x 11 inches|
Pawfect Pets Premium Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag is our pick as the kitten carrier for car travel. It’s extremely lightweight at only about two pounds, and it has soft padded sides that make it more comfortable for your pet on bumpy rides. It has removable fleece pads that make it easier to clean, and it also has scratch and tear-resistant windows that will remain durable while providing adequate ventilation. A padded hand grip makes it more comfortable to carry, and dual seat belt straps help you install it securely in your vehicle.
We liked using the Pawfect Pets carrier, and it’s our go-to device when transporting kittens, but it’s a little smaller, so it may not be suitable for larger breeds, like the Maine Coon or overweight cats.
5. Pet Fit For Life Collapsible/Portable Cat Cage/Condo – Best Cat Carrier for Long Car Trips
|Product Dimensions:||32 x 19 x 19 inches|
The Pet Fit For Life Collapsible/Portable Cat Cage/Condo is our pick as the best car for long car trips. It has a built-in seatbelt strap to help keep your pet safe. It has a collapsible water bowl that will keep your pet hydrated and a portable litterbox that will make your journey much more comfortable for your pet and minimizes the risk of an accident. There is also a floor pad to supply your cat with some cushion to prevent injury.
The downside of the Pet Fit is that it is not very sturdy, and if you have a large or overweight cat, it can cause the bottom to buckle while you carry it. The zipper is also not very sturdy, and we had cats break out of it, so you might choose another brand if you have a cat that aggressively tries to escape confinement.
6. Mr. Peanut’s Gold Series Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag – Best Cat Carrier for Long-Distance Travel
|Product Dimensions:||18 x 10.4 x 11 inches|
Mr. Peanut’s Gold Series Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag is our pick as the best cat-carrier for long-distance travel. It has a self-locking zipper that will prevent your cat from escaping while you drive, and the faux fleece padding will help make the ride more comfortable while protecting your pet. Mesh windows allow your cat to see its surroundings while providing ventilation, and there are additional pockets that let you store your accessories.
The downside to Mr. Peanut’s Gold Series carrier is that it’s a little too small for many adult cats, especially if they are overweight, so you might need to choose another brand if your cat weighs more than about 12 pounds.
7. Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier
|Product Dimensions:||24 x 16.5 x 16 inches|
The Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier is the last cat carrier for car travel on our list, but it still has plenty of features that might interest you. Its metal frame adds stability and durability to the soft-sided carrier, and you can fold it down for easy storage when you’re not using it. The seatbelt loops make it easy to install into your vehicle, and the handle is padded and well balanced. It’s also quite large, and there’s plenty of room for bigger cats or even two smaller ones.
We love the large size of the Petseek but found that there isn’t enough framing on the bottom to keep it from sagging, especially when you’re carting a larger cat. The thin fabric can also tear easily or rip if you have aggressive cats.
One of the first things you want to consider when choosing a cat carrier for car travel is the size. This carrier should be a little larger than your normal ones because your cat will need to spend more time in it. We recommend choosing a brand that allows your cat at least 15 inches in all directions, and we tried to list the size of each of the carriers on our list.
Hard Side versus Soft Side
The choice to use a hard or soft-sided carrier it’s more of a personal one. Hard-sided carriers will offer your cat more protection, but it only comes into play in extreme circumstances, like an accident or a drop. In almost every other situation, the soft-sided carrier is all the protection your cat needs. Soft-sided carriers are more comfortable because they can conform to your cat’s body if it leans against them. However, most cats have a thick layer of fur that provides plenty of cushioning, even in a hard-shell carrier, and many come with soft pads you can insert to increase comfort.
Having a carrier with plenty of ventilation is extremely important, especially on long rides. Ventilation also allows your cat to see its surroundings which can help it feel more comfortable, especially if someone familiar is riding along in the back seat. All of the brands on our list have excellent ventilation, but you will need to be careful if you continue to shop elsewhere.
Food and Water
Miniature carriers come with a foldable water bowl, and some even have a litter box. These items can make travel with your cat much easier, and we recommend looking for brands that provide them. You can also make a small litter box out of a cardboard box to put in the carrier along with the cat while you drive, but you need a large carrier to contain these items.
Seat belt loops in your cat carrier make it extremely easy to secure in your car and add an extra layer of safety to your trip. If you intend to travel regularly, we highly recommend choosing a brand with built-in seat belt loops, and we tried to list brands that had them in our reviews.
The ability to clean your carrier is extremely important. We recommend avoiding brands with built-in pads that you cannot remove because crumbs and dirt can get trapped below them, and they can be difficult to clean. We prefer to use removable padding that you can put in the wash if your cat has an accident.
When choosing your next cat carrier for car travel, we highly recommend our pick for the best overall. The PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier provides your cat with plenty of ventilation. It has two adjustable seatbelt loops and plenty of access panels to get your cat in and out. Our pick for the best value is another smart choice. The Pet Magasin Collapsible Dog & Cat Carrier Bag has a hardtop and sides with a removable pad for increased comfort and folds away for easy storage.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over these reviews and found a few brands you would like to try out. If we have helped you travel with your pet, please share these seven best cat carriers for car travel on Facebook and Twitter.